Mark Burnett

Mark Burnett
Mark Burnett

Burnett in July 2009
Born July 17, 1960 (1960-07-17) (age 51)
London, England, United Kingdom

Television producer

& Executive producer
Spouse Dianne J. Burnett (nee Valentine)
divorced 2003
Roma Downey (m. 2007–present) «start: (2007)»"Marriage: Roma Downey to Mark Burnett" Location: (linkback://
Children James and Cameron Burnett; Reilly Anspaugh

Mark Burnett (born July 17, 1960) is a British television producer and executive producer, based in the United States. He currently is the executive producer of five network television series with seven hours of network programming. Works with which Burnett is associated have won multiple awards and recognition. Burnett himself has also won four Emmy Awards and four People's Choice Awards.

Current series for Burnett are Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and the People's Choice Awards.


Early life

Mark Burnett was born on July 17, 1960 in the east end of London, England, the only child of two Ford Motors factory workers [1]. He was raised in Dagenham, Essex. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the British Army, and became a Section Commander in the Parachute Regiment. From 1978 to 1982 he served with the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) and saw action during the Falklands War[1].

Early Career

In October 1982, Burnett decided to leave Britain for the United States where he met up with a friend, Nick Hill, who had also immigrated from Britain a few years earlier and was working as a nanny and chauffeur[citation needed]. Hill knew of an open position for a live-in nanny position with the Jaeger family in Beverly Hills, the interview for which was that night. Though he had no experience in that field, Burnett took the opportunity, and because of his military background, the Jaegers, realizing the advantage of having a nanny and security at the same time, hired him. After a year of working for the Jaegers, he moved on to another family in Malibu, taking care of two boys for $250 a week[citation needed]. He was eventually given a position in the insurance office owned by Burt, the father of the two boys.

Two years later, he decided to rent a portion of a fence at Venice Beach and sell T-shirts for $18 each during weekends. Realizing he made more money selling t-shirts, Burnett left his insurance job[citation needed].

In 1991, Burnett, along with four others, joined a French adventure competition called the Raid Gauloises. After competing, Burnett saw a business opportunity in holding similar competitions. He purchased the format rights and brought a similar competition, Eco Challenge, to America. Eco Challenge launched Burnett's career as a television producer.[1]


Mark Burnett is best known for producing the hit reality show, Survivor, which premiered in the summer of 2000 and was the most watched summer series since Sonny and Cher[2] Survivor was also named the Number 1 reality series of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 2009.[3] Burnett is also the creator of The Apprentice.

Burnett's other television franchises include; Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Shark Tank, Oprah's All-Stars, Martha Stewart, Sarah Palin's Alaska, The Contender, On the Lot (a collaboration with Stephen Spielberg), The Restaurant, Rock Star, Combat Missions, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Bully Beatdown, Starmaker, Expedition Africa, Toughest Cowboy, Wedding Day and How'd You Get So Rich? Burnett’s new adventure series, Expedition Impossible currently airs on ABC.[4] He has also completed the milestone of having a renewed series on each of the four major broadcast networks.

Since 2007, Burnett has served as the executive producer for the MTV Movie Awards and has also executive produced the 2010 and 2011 People's Choice Awards. In September of 2011, Burnett produced the Emmy Awards for Fox[citation needed].

Burnett is also producing The Voice, a new reality singing competition series for NBC. Carson Daly hosts the show, while Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee-Lo Green and Blake Shelton serve as coaches.[5]

In addition to his ongoing productions, Mark Burnett is also the producer for The Bible, a 10 hour History Channel drama based upon stories of the Bible [6]

Personal life

Mark's first marriage was to Dianne Burnett (née Valentine) and produced two sons, James and Cameron.[7] During their marriage the two formed DJB as a company to produce film and television projects. Shows produced through this company during their marriage include Eco-Challenge and Survivor. The couple filed for legal separation in September 2002 and a judgment for legal separation was granted in December 2003.[7]

In January 2004, Mark began dating actress Roma Downey, and in November 2006, while the two were vacationing with their children in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, he proposed to her.[8] They wed on 28 April 2007 in their Malibu home.[9]

Awards and nominations

Personal recognition

Time called Burnett one of the Most Influential People in the World Today.[10] Burnett was also named “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Reality Cares Foundation. Furthermore, Burnett has won both Brandweeks’s Marketer of the Year Award, the prestigious Rose d’Or Frapa Format Award, the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award and the Norman Lear Award from the Producers Guild of America.

In November 2007, Burnett was elected into the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame and in 2008, it was announced that he would be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On July 8, 2009 Burnett received a star at 6664 Hollywood Blvd.[11]

In June of 2011, Burnett was elected into the Producer's Guild of America Council Board of Delegates and currently serves on the Producers Council. He is also ambassador for Operation Smile.

  • 2004: Reality Cares Foundation 'Philanthropist of the Year'[12]
  • 2004: Time Magazine: 'Time 100: 100 Most Influential People in the World Today'
  • 2009: Producers Guild of America 'Norman Lear Award'[13]
  • 2009: Hollywood Walk of Fame Star: 'Excellence in Television'[14]
  • 2010: Producers Guild of America 'Lifetime Achievement Award in Television'

Project recognition

Since 2001, projects with which Burnett is associated have been nominated for 69 shared Emmy Awards and have won 4. They have also won 4 shared People's Choice Awards, a Banff Rocky, and the prestigious Rose D'Or Frapa Format Award.

Primetime Emmy Awards[15] 
  • 2001, won 'Outstanding Non-Fiction Programming', Special Class, for Survivor: The Australian Outback;
  • 2001, won 'Outstanding Sound Mixing for Non-Fiction Programming, for Survivor: The Australian Outback
  • 2002, 4 nominations, Survivor: Africa and Survivor: Marquesas (judged as one show)
  • 2003, 4 nominations, Survivor: Thailand and Survivor: Amazon (judged as one show)
  • 2004, 4 nominations, The Apprentice
  • 2005, nomination for 'Outstanding Reality Competition Show' for Survivor
  • 2005, 5 nominations, The Apprentice
  • 2006, nomination for 'Outstanding Reality Competition Show' for Survivor
Young Artist Award[16] 
  • 2008, won 'Best Family Television Reality Show, Game Show or Documentary for Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Teen Choice Awards[17][18] 
  • 2004, nomination 'Breakout TV Show' for The Apprentice
  • 2008, nominated 'Choice TV Game Show' for Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Peoples Choice Awards[19] 
  • 2001, won 'Favorite Reality Based Television Program' for Survivor
  • 2002, won 'Favorite Realty Based Television Program' for Survivor: The Australian Outback
  • 2003, won 'Favorite Reality Based Television Program' for Survivor: Thailand
  • 2004, won 'Favorite Reality Based Television Program' for Survivor
  • 2008, nomination 'Favorite Game Show' for Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Kids Choice Awards[20] 
  • 2008, nomination 'Favorite Reality Show' for Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Daytime Emmy Awards[21] 
  • 2006, nomination 'Outstanding Service Show' for Martha
  • 2007, nomination 'Outstanding Lifestyle Program' for Martha
  • 2011, won 'Outstanding Lifestyle Program' for Martha
Family Television Awards[22] 
(given by the Family Friendly Programming Forum):
  • 2001, won 'Reality/Alternative Programming' for Survivor: The Australian Outback
Producer's Guild of America
  • 2004, won 'Television Producer of the Year in Reality/Game/Informational Series' for Survivor
TV Critic's Association Awards
  • 2004, won 'Program of the Year' for The Apprentice
TV Week's Annual Critics Poll
  • 2003, won 'Number 1 Reality Show' for Survivor
  • 2003, won 'Number 7 Favorite Show' for Survivor
Diversity Awards
  • 2001, won 'Most Diverse Television Ensemble Cast' for Survivor: The Australian Outback
  • 2001, won 'Recognition Award' for Survivor
Reggie Awards
  • 2001, won 'Super Reggie' for 'Multi-Channel Integrated Promotion Involving Consumer and Trade Special' for Survivor
Publicists Guild of America
  • 2001, won 'Maxwell Weinberg Publicists Showmanship Award for Television' for Survivor
Sports Emmy Awards
  • 2000, won 'Best Program Achievement' for Eco-Challenge: Morocco


  1. ^ a b c "Mark Burnett Biography". Retrieved October 27 2011. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ 20 Best Reality-TV Shows Ever
  4. ^ Rizzo, Monica. "New Series Expedition Impossible Mixes Great Outdoors and Reality TV". November 4, 2010
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Elber, Lynn. "'The Bible': History Channel, Mark Burnett Creating CGI 10-Hour Miniseries". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "In re the Marriage of J. MARK and DIANNE J. BURNETT,". Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BD376427. Retrieved October 08, 2011. 
  8. ^ Sharon Cotliar and Cynthia Wang. "Mark Burnett and Roma Downey Engaged" November 27, 2006
  9. ^ Wang, Cynthia. "Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Marry in Malibu" April 29, 2007
  10. ^ Time magazine: TIME 100 Burnett profile
  11. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, Walk of Fame to be TV star
  12. ^ Buzz Media. "Press Release". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  13. ^ PGA. "Award-Winning Televsion Producer Mark Burnett to Be Honored with 2010 Norman Lear Achievement Award". PGA. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Weber, Scott. "Mark “Survivor” Burnett Gets Hollywood Walk of Fame Star". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Emmys. "Primetime Emmy Awards". Emmys. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  16. ^ IMDB. "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  17. ^ IMDB. "Teen Choice Awards (2004)". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  18. ^ IMDB. "Teen Choice Awards (2008)". 
  19. ^ People's Choice Awards. "Peoples Choice Awards Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  20. ^ USA Today. "Kid's Choice Awards Winners". USA Today. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  21. ^ IMDBpro. "Awards". Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  22. ^ TCM. "3rd Annual Family Television Awards". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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